We’re different it won’t work here
It’s been an interesting month, great meetings, new contacts and one of the most interesting presentations I‘ve given regarding Operational Excellence and Problem Solving.
The presentation was given to the Manufacturing and Construction sectors as part of a Seminar/Workshop.
The comments at the end we’re ones I have heard over and over again, “We’re Different, it won’t work here!”
Is “we’re different” an excuse not try to improve?
This got me thinking in one of my reflective moments, what is it that naturally creates this push back? Do we think that Business Excellence, Operational Excellence, Lean or Six Sigma is a technical tool and technique, only applied to manufacturing, high volume processes, etc? Is it we naturally assume that it’s for the automotive industry?
There are a number of answers you can come up with that can be assigned to this emotion and push back.
So we have to ask ourselves
Do business improvement principles (as that is all they are) apply to pretty much every process? Yes, I’d say so. Does that mean its easy to put in place? Absolutely not. But that, along with being different, should be no reason to not try.
Which leads me on from last month’s article REFLECTION! and into OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE TRANSFORMATION
We must first seek to understand what is it we are trying to solve, what problem? This could be as an organisation, function, sub-process.
Then we must ask,
What process improvement needs to be done? What do I need to design, re-design, improve to solve our problem and achieve our objective?
Do I have the capability in house? Do I have the skillset within my team?
We then come to,
What mindset do I need to have? Growth? (One of learning as we do not have the capability in house), Implementation (I have the capability so execute, or get support if you don’t), Experimental (try and test)
Remembering that Leadership behaviour and Programme Management are the key. The governance process you apply.
Final thought – it’s often said that “Operational Excellence doesn’t succeed or fail… it’s just a set of principles. What succeeds or fails is the organisation or the leaders who try.” Success isn’t guaranteed — it requires hard work and creativity to figure out how will work in your setting, because you are different!